Telecom

Pompeo Expands Clean Network Initiative to Keep Americans’ Data Safe from China

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday announced the State Department is expanding its Clean Network initiative to keep Americans’ data safe from Chinese vendors looking to exploit the data. He said there are five new lines of effort. The first is “Clean Carrier” — working to ensure that untrusted Chinese telecom companies do not provide international telecommunications services between the United States and foreign destinations. “I join Attorney General Barr, [Defense] Secretary Esper, and Acting [Department of Homeland Security] Secretary Wolf in urging the [Federal Communications Commission] to revoke and terminate the authorizations of China Telecom and three other companies providing services to and from the United States,” he said. The second is “Clean Store” — removing untrusted Chinese apps from U.S. app stores. “President Trump has mentioned impending action on TikTok, and for good reason. With parent companies based in China, apps like TikTok, WeChat, and others are significant threats to the personal data of American citizens, not to mention tools for CCP content censorship,” Pompeo said. The third is “Clean Apps” — working to prevent Huawei and other untrusted vendors from pre-installing or making available for download the most popular U.S. apps. “We don’t want companies to be complicit in Huawei’s human rights abuses or the CCP’s surveillance apparatus,” he said. The fourth is “Clean Cloud” — protecting Americans’ most sensitive personal information and American businesses’ most valuable intellectual property — including COVID-19 vaccine research — from being accessed on cloud-based systems run by Chinese companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, China Mobile, China Telecom, and Tencent. “The State Department will work closely with Commerce and other agencies to limit the ability of Chinese cloud service providers to collect, to store, and to process vast amounts of data and sensitive information here in the United States,” he said. The fifth is “Clean Cable” — working to ensure that the CCP cannot compromise information carried by the undersea cables that connect the U.S. and others to the global internet. “Huawei Marine significantly underbids other companies on multiple procurements to connect Asia, the Pacific, Africa, and Europe using Chinese state-backed underseas technology,” he said. “We can’t allow that to continue. We call on all freedom-loving nations and companies to join the Clean Network,” he said.

Kudos to Sec. of State Mike Pompeo and the rest of the Trump Administration doing this for all of us.  Excellent!!      🙂

Feds move to block China-owned telecom service from operating in US

The Justice Department and other executive branch agencies recommended Thursday that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revoke and terminate China Telecom Corp.’s authorizations to provide international telecommunication services to and from the U.S. “Today, more than ever, the life of the nation and its people runs on our telecommunications networks,” said John C. Demers, assistant attorney general for national security. “The security of our government and professional communications, as well as of our most private data, depends on our use of trusted partners from nations that share our values and our aspirations for humanity,” Demers said in a statement. The Justice Department reviewed China Telecom’s authorizations and determined the company had failed to comply with the terms of an existing agreement with the department. China Telecom is a subsidiary of the People’s Republic of China state-owned telecommunications company. In its recommendation, the executive branch agencies cited “increased knowledge of the PRC’s role in malicious cyber activity targeting the United States” and “concerns that China Telecom is vulnerable to exploitation, influence, and control by the PRC government.” The FCC last May voted unanimously to deny another Chinese state-owned telecommunications company, China Mobile Ltd., the right to provide service in the U.S., saying the Chinese government could use the company to conduct espionage on the U.S. government. It said then it was “looking” at China Telecom’s license. Earlier Wednesday, the DOJ gave Google clearance to build and operate a subsea cable between the U.S. and Taiwan, which is governed separately from China but which China asserts sovereignty over. The DOJ however banned any connection to Hong Kong, where the Chinese government has strengthened control in recent years, much to the ire of hundreds of thousands of protesters in 2019.

Kudos to our DOJ for taking this common-sense stance for our national security.  We cannot afford to trust the communist Chinese government with our telecom infrastructure.  For more, click on the text above.